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March 1, 2011: Libya

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At UN on Syria, Russia Counters With Its Own Draft Resolution, Now the Battle for IBSA?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 26, with full text below -- Countering calls for a Syria resolution by the United Nations Security Council's four European members and the US, Russian Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin on Friday called a Council meeting and circulated Russia's own draft resolution.

 In the closed door meeting, he said he was putting Russia's draft "into blue," that is, that if votes are called, Russia's draft should go first.

  Churkin said it calls on the opposition to engage in a dialogue with the Syrian authorities, as well as calling on the government to "expedite the reforms they announced."

  The actual draft "urges all sides to act with utmost restraint, and to refrain from reprisals, including attacks against state institutions" and "reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria."

Inner City Press asked Churkin if Russia has other co-sponsors. Churkin replied, "From what I heard today I have a fairly good sense we are going to have at least several co-sponsors."

European representatives acknowledged at least one supporter of Russia, spinning that it's good that Russia and China now acknowledge the need for a resolution.

  But the key will be toward which resolution the so-called IBSA -- India, Brazail and South Africa -- gravitate. Call it the Battle for IBSA.

  German Deputy Permanent Representative Miguel Berger said Russia's draft "does not even reflect the Presidential Statement of the third of August." He said he hoped that on Monday, or even over the (Hurricane Irene) weekend, "we can engage."

UK Deputy Permanent Representative Philip Parham said it "steps back from President Statement... since which things have gotten worse.... I'm not saying we want to take the two texts and negotiate. We are clear that our proposal is a good basis... that's why we have put our proposal into blue."

But who went first? Churkin said "it is clear" that Russia was first. A European spokesperson said that even as Churkin spoke in the meeting, the European and US draft was "submitted to the Secretariat."

Churkin speaks in past to Ban Ki-moon: what does he think of 2 resolutions?

In the run up to the meeting, Syrian Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari said there would soon be "good news." He denounced "former colonial powers" for a US-heavy litany including Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and "the destruction of Viet Nam." A Japanese journalist mused to Inner City Press, "Why not Hiroshima?" And so it goes at the UN.

Friday afternoon, as Ban Ki-moon convenes a video meeting about Libya -- based, his departing deputy spokesman told Inner City Press, on the Martin report which Inner City Press exclusively published Friday morning -- a UK proposal to unfreeze Libyan bank notes pends before the Council's Libya Sanctions Committee. Inner City Press asked if the request mentions the National Transitional Council; the answer is no, it mentions the "Central Libyan Bank." We'll see.

Russia-introduced draft resolution, as re-typed:

The Security Council,

Recalling its Presidential Statement of 3 August 2011,

Deeply concerned by the continuing violence in Syria and the potential for its further escalation,

Calling for an immediate end to all violence and urging all sides to act with utmost restraint, and to refrain from reprisals, including attacks on state institutions,

Expressing profound regret at the death of many hundreds of people,

Stressing that the only solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process,

Recalling the Syrian authorities' responsibility to comply with their obligations under applicable international law and to bring to account those responsible for the violence,

Noting the announced commitments by the Syrian authorities to reform, and regretting insufficient progress in their implementation,

Calling on the Syrian authorities to alleviate the humanitarian situation in crisis areas, to allow expeditious and unhindered access to international humanitarian agencies and workers, and to cooperate fully with the Office fo the High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Mindful of the role which Syria plans in the maintenance of peace and stability in the region,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, in dependence and territorial integrity of Syria,

1. Calls upon the Syrian government to expedite the implementation of the announced reforms in order to effectively address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of Syria's people.

2. Urges the Syrian opposition to engage in political dialogyue with the Syrian authorities with a view to holding a substantial and in-depth discussion on the ways of reforming Syrian society.

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On Libya, Leaked UN Report Sees 200 Military Observers, NATO but Not AU Role Given by Ban Ki-moon: Exclusive

By Matthew Russell Lee, Must Credit ICP

UNITED NATIONS, August 26 -- Before rebel fighters entered Tripoli, and before UN Special Adviser Ian Martin traveled this week to Doha and Istanbul to belatedly meet with National Transitional Council officials, Martin on August 22 handed a detailed plan to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

  After its requests to the UN to release the document, at least to member states, were denied, Inner City Press obtained a copy of the report and is putting it online today, here (10 page Martin report) and here (longer background report).

  The UN Secretariat is proposing up to 200 Military Observers, to begin with a Multi-National Force led by two member states, up to 190 UN Police, and additional elections and other civil staff.

  The report estimates that Gross Domestic Production could decline as much as 47%. It puts frozen Libyan assets at $150 billion, and recommends that many of the assets not be sold and quickly returned to Libya (Paragraph 136).

  Martin's report offers some praise of the Qadhafi -- its spelling -- regime, for example in the fields of health and education (Paragraph 71). It speaks of "reforms" by Saif al-Islam, now indicted by the International Criminal Court, and former Prime Minister Ghanem.

   It asserts that the (TNC) opposition engaged in some killings and property seizures, even constituting war crimes, and like Qadhafi used child soldiers (Paragraph 88).  It several times expresses doubt about Qadhafi's "alleged" use of foriegn fighters or mercenaries.

  The report assumes at a minimum sending military and police advisers and liaisons, saying that "no specific [Security] Council mandate would be required for these type of tasks."

  It flatly says that "the Security Council's 'protection of civilians' mandate implemented by NATO does not end with the fall of the Qadhafi government and, therefore, NATO would continue to have some responsibilities." (Introduction, Paragraph 8)

  Significantly, while it envisions a continued NATO presence, particularly in Tripoli, it allows for no role for the African Union. It archly notes that only in Qadhafi's post-coup declaration was Libya said to be part of Africa. As Inner City Press has reported, even staff in the UN Department of Political Affairs Africa Divisions have expressed outrage at this, as well as the central role assigned to "the Brit" Ian Martin, to the agitated displeasure of DPA chief Lynn Pascoe when Inner City Press asked him about it on August 25, click here for that.

  Troubling, but perhaps indicative of Ban Ki-moon's UN, is the report's recommendation that non-State media be "monitored" lest it "rush to resort to public opinion."

Ban & Ian Martin - nouveau L. Paul Bremer?

  While Pascoe called "extraordinary" the failed mediation work of Ban Ki-moon's envoy for Libya Abdul Ilah Al Khatib, Martin's report mentioned Al Khatib only once, as a person consulted with. (Al Khatib has throughout remained a paid Senator in Jordan.)

  Also consulted were UN funds and programs (the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes wants in and UNDP plans a "Surge" and to play a role in procurement), the International Migration Organization and the World Bank -- but, despite discussion for example of currency stabilization and exchange rates, NOT the International Monetary Fund.

  Even to compile the report, the UN and Martin reached outside of the UN System and hired Dartmouth professor Dirk Vandewalle as a consultant. When Inner City Press first asked, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq refused to even confirm Vandewalle's hiring.

  This week, when Inner City Press asked that the report be released in light of Vandewalle's public description of his role, Haq said no, and his associate spokesperson even claimed the report is "not a UN document."

  One of the many questions arising from the report is under what mandate, and with what accountability, the UN Secretariat developed this "post-conflict" Libya plan, and then refused to share it even with member states.

  There will be many other questions. For now, in advance of the (August 16 video) meeting convened by Ban Ki-moon, Inner City Press is making the UN's plan public, as it should have been. Watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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